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Philadelphia Public Schools To Ask For $320M In Funding

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By Ileana Diaz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Superintendent Dr. Hite is calling for $320 million dollars in funding for Philadelphia schools next year and Mayor Nutter made his stance clear on the matter.

“The plan doesn’t simply attempt to solve a budget problem, but rather tries to move public education forward.”

But it’s not so simple. The district needs almost $200 million dollars more than the $150 million the Mayor says they’re hoping to get from two city taxes.

“The district would actually get $150 million; $80 million plus from cigarettes and $70 million from sales tax.

This comes after the budget deficit last year forced more than 3,800 employees and teachers out of their jobs.

As the district prepares for a new year, two new School Reform Commission members take the stage tonight, one being the new chairman and former council member Bill Green, whose colleagues spoke out today.

Philadelphia City Council member Jimmy Kenney says, “We banged heads in the past, but that’s water under the bridge and were going to move forward.”

City Council President Darrell Clarke adds, “It’s much needed leadership and he brings a level passion to that particular position.”

Already, Green has been passionate and vocal in wanting to change teacher contracts and see health and benefit cutbacks. But the president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers says he’s waiting to see what Green says tonight.

Jerry Jordan says. “We need to do everything to make sure they have resources and the buildings so that they’ll be successful.”

One thing everyone agreed on is the priority is the students and education. Everyone just needs to come to terms on how they will get all of the funding.

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